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Hello,

I'm going to start playing PoE with expansions on PotD dofficulty. This will be my first playthrough, but I'm quite experienced player overall (spent hundreds hours with Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights and so on- I know PoE is different, but still...). I really enjoy learning the mechanics, builds etc, quite frankly I like it nearly as much as playing itself. So I decided to play as a fighter using this build - https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/80748-class-build-lady-of-pain-high-speed-heavy-armored-dps-fighter/page-7?do=findComment&comment=1789267).

And here is my question. I would like to rectuit companions (not adventurers) for role-playing reasons. So which of them (and why) will create a good synergy with my fighter?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my English.

Simon

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The game system is built precisely to be lenient in what works strategically. I'm confident that any reasonably resourceful and determined player can beat the game with any array of companions. Your following of a carefully designed build (as opposed to the usual first play of "oh this looks good") will afford you quite a lot of tactical leniency.

 

None of the companions are built with absolute optimality in mind, but they're decidedly not terrible. You would have to try quite hard to produce an actually unworkable party, if one exists, even if you make silly decisions at every level. A full-strength party can come with any selection of classes, it doesn't (as in, say, BG2) have to contain certain classes, like Mages.

 

Essentially, I am saying that the system is designed to allow you to prioritise your roleplaying desires above any concerns of optimality, especially if you're building your main character with a view towards being optimal anyway. Pick the companions you like the most.

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The are several difference between this and the other IE games:

 

1). The is one companion for each class and only one companion for each class. Removing a lot of the who's better at class ____ debates.

 

2). You don't need a rogue in this game. It's helpful to have someone who specialize in the mechanics skills for traps and locked objects, but any class include priests can be lock pickers (if trained correctly).

 

3). There are much less "silver bullet" spells/abilities than BG2. Every enemy can be beaten in a variety of ways and while an enemy might resist fire of physical attacks or something there  aren't any "you need a wizard" battles.

 

4). There is an option to retrain/respec characters so you're choices aren't written in stone.

 

My main advice is meet the different companions and see who you enjoy (and who you can't stand).

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Note that with regard to retraining the companions, you can also turn off 'Auto Level Companions' under the difficulty options. In that case they start at level 1 when they join you but with enough XP to level up to your current level, so you can make all the leveling choices yourself as they join your party. Saves having to pay for retraining them (and having to go to an inn/merchant to do so). 

 

And though you indeed don't *need* a rogue (though they do get a +2 bonus to mechanics), they are a lot of fun to play! You need decent mechanics to spot hidden objects as well by the way, it's rather a multi-purpose skill. 

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I actually find Fighters a bit boring as main character. In the lower levels he doesn't have more than one or two active abilities, so you mostly just send him into the fray and watch him slowly wear down the opposition by not being hit as hard and as often as he hits them. I'm all for a Fighter in you group, but there's a fighter companion in the starting village, so you don't have to make your main character a fighter as well. To me, Barbarian is the more fun variant as very low maintenance characters go (i.e. he doesn't really have more active abilities, but he just deals a lot more damage than the fighter). He's not totally as durable as the fighter, since his defense stats are not as high (though he gets the largest health pool), but his survivability is still very high. The fun thing about Barbarians is that all their melee attacks are AoE due to the class skill Carnage, i.e. you simply hit everything around you instead of just one enemy. Sending the Barbarian with a great sword into a crowd of Wichts and seeing them explode into bits with one or two swings - my black soul takes delight in that. Also there was no barbarian companion until The White March part II, so you had to make one yourself.

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You'll want at least one another frontliner, since you are already a fighter then Pallegina (paladin) should work well. You really want a priest, they are too usefull not to have one, so grab Durance. I'd suggest also taking one or two mages for CC and nuking, so 1-2 of either Aloth, Hiravias or Grieving Mother. 

 

After that just fill out your party with whoever seems fun, I'd suggest keeping the frontline to three melee chars at most as a fourth tends to make things too crowded and micro-heavy though.

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My picks would be:

 

Zahua

Durance

Aloth

Grieving Mother

Pallegina or Edér (but since you're already a Fighter, Pallegina might be better.)

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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My picks would be:

 

Zahua

Durance

Aloth

Grieving Mother

Pallegina or Edér (but since you're already a Fighter, Pallegina might be better.)

One thing I have noticed is many recommend expansion NPCs. Since this is his or her 1st run I wouldn't recommend expansions NPCs except as follow ons to the original NPCs so as to not confuse the newbie because it will be hard to find the expansion NPCs. We don't want Rico fuse and frustrate new players as they are potential donors to the funding of PoE deuce

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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Thank you for all your thoughts guys! Much appreciated. BTW- I contributed money to Pillars Eternity's Kickstarter and also bought a physical copy. I think I'll do the same thing with PoE 2. I just really enjoy classical, old-school RPGs. So don't worry ;-).

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